WASHINGTON, January 13, 2016 — Ted Cruz seems every day less like the conservative firebrand that Republicans thought he was and more like an establishment candidate, indistinguishable from the career politicians he claims to be fighting against.
The latest example came Tuesday, when Cruz skipped a vote to audit the Federal Reserve.
On his campaign website, Cruz claims that one of the steps needed to restore a stable dollar is to audit the Fed.
“We need to audit the Federal Reserve. A rules-based monetary system would restore stability to the dollar and to the international currency system. This will help us get beyond these cycles of boom, bust, and malaise, and return us to rising productivity, strong economic growth, and higher incomes for all.”
It is a shame that Sen. Cruz didn’t bother to show up for the vote. If this were a bill involving a national park or a small committee hearing, there would be no story. But for Cruz to miss a vote on something that he deems important enough to address on his campaign website speaks volumes about where his priorities really lie.
Cruz, campaigning in New Hampshire, would have made little difference even if he had voted in favor of Paul’s bill. The legislation was short 60 votes needed to overcome Tuesday’s procedural hurdle; the vote was 53-44 vote with Senate Democrats opposing the bill.
Some are calling foul as Cruz missed the Fed vote less than a month after he slammed Sen. Marco Rubio’s Senate attendance record, after Rubio failed to vote on a $1.1 trillion spending bill in December. “I’m going to let Marco defend his own voting record. I can tell you that I flew back to Washington, D.C. today to vote against this omnibus.”
Sen. Rand Paul, the author of Audit the Fed, was disappointed that his colleague “didn’t show up for work” and tweeted that the American people “can’t even trust Ted to show up to vote on an issue as important as Audit the Fed.”
The Texas Republican supports Paul’s legislation, signing on as a cosponsor to both the bill defeated on Tuesday and a separate proposal that has stalled in the Senate Banking Committee.
This absence could very well do some real damage to Cruz among younger Republican voters who favor Rand Paul. Young Republicans helped bring the issue of the Fed to the forefront during the campaigns of Paul’s father, Ron Paul, in 2008 and 2012.
It may seem to those young voters that Sen. Paul is the only candidate left in the race who still considers the Fed a priority.
The unfortunate truth is that Cruz is neglecting one of the few positions that distinguishes him from most of the other Republicans running for president other than Rand Paul.
Many Libertarian-leaning Republicans were hopeful that if Sen. Paul failed to receive the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz would be an adequate second choice.
That hope now seems misplaced.